Katy Robinson - Kitchen Civils

In 2017, we successfully recruited Katy as an apprentice Quantity Surveyor. As part of the Efficiency North Social Value Awards’, Katy was awarded the EN:Able Futures Techinical Apprentice of the Year as a result of her fantastic hard work and dedication just a year after she was taken on.

Following the first year of her BTEC diploma, Katy achieved Distinction* and always hands in assignments ahead of deadline dates. Katy continually works hard to ensure achievement and progression on to HNC/HND on completion of her apprenticeship

Her employer, Scott Longmuir at Kitchen Civils says:

"Katy has been with us for just under a year and is as enthusiastic now as her first day. Katy came in eager to learn and has taken every task presented in her stride. Her attitude and willingness to learn has been uplifting and the positive vibes have been reverberating thought our office. She has been a breath of fresh air and should be proud of herself not only for her personal development but also for giving the young apprentices a good name in the construction industry. I feel Katy is worthy of winning this award."

Katy’s parents agreed to share their stories and support for an apprenticeship route. Katy’s father followed the apprenticeship route and her mum decided to leave education and find a route into work.

What route do we think Katy has taken and what was the reasoning behind her choice?

Her Father’s story:

“At sixteen, even though my O level grades were good my family could not afford for me to stay on to take A levels and so going to university was never an option, instead I was offered an apprenticeship.  This was the best start to my working life that I could have wished for; I was earning money from day one whilst the company paid for me to go to college and training centres. 

“But it was the on-the-job training where I was working with adults and being treated as one which increased my confidence.  I learnt to listen to the people that I worked with, they had some great life stories - including making many mistakes which they were willing to share with me – I quickly understood it was less painful to learn from their mistakes. 

“For me an apprenticeship was, and still is, as much about learning life skills, teamwork, confidence, self-reliance and building relationships with different people in the workplace, compared with the formality of studying for a university degree.

“Not having a university degree has not prevented me from being the Managing Director of a successful company; it did not stop me working as a development worker in Africa, and it did not preclude me from becoming Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.”

Katy’s Mother’s story:

“All the way through Secondary School I thought I wanted to train to be a nurse, typically of that ‘era’ our Careers Officer’s suggestions were often limited to teaching, nursing, banking or secretarial work, however a protracted bout of glandular fever meant I was off school for about three months prior to my ‘O level’ exams, the lack of revision sessions and my illness resulted in poor grades and I stayed at school a further year to retake most subjects … by the time I took those exams again I’d had enough of studying and was keen to get out into the world of work.

“The late 1970s saw the introduction of the ‘Job Creation Programme’ and I was appointed on a three month project within a Local Government setting. This enabled me to then secure a permanent job before my project ended, with the advantage of the opportunity to attend college and gain qualifications … earning and learning.  My varied career within Local Government then spanned the next 19 years until a re-organisation meant that I could take redundancy and work at home within our own business.

Katy’s story:

“I didn’t know what to do after A levels, but it’s fair to say I knew what I didn’t want to do – I didn’t want to go to university just to rack up a large debt at the start of my working life and obtain a degree without knowing if it would be relevant.  I had a part-time job from the age of 16 which meant I was familiar with a working environment and I was getting used to earning some money of my own.  

“I have a passion for travel and had taken A level Geography, not just because I enjoyed the subject - but also for the field trips and visits to other countries!  I also crammed a two year Business Studies BTEC course into my final year as I thought it would be helpful for getting a job - even if I didn’t know what kind of job I wanted!”

The outcome:

By chance it was an advert for apprentices posted on Facebook by Futureworks (Yorkshire) which got their attention and they contacted us to find out more.

By the end of the initial interview it was clear there were various opportunities available and within a week an interview was arranged, an offer was made to Katy and an apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying was accepted!

It was always clear that Katy wanted to get on with life, to work and earn her own money and to continue to travel.  She sees this opportunity as an Apprentice Quantity Surveyor as providing her the chance to continue to do just this and she recognises that she will be able to take her skills, qualifications and experience with her to work anywhere in the world ….. if she chooses to do so.

Katy’s mother adds:

“We have both carved our own path through life without a degree, so there was no pressure from us for Katy to go to university and we can totally appreciate the opportunity this apprenticeship will give her, along with the valuable mentoring not only from her placement but from Futureworks Yorkshire too, all working to support her success.”

The Author

Written by EN:Able Futures